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White shoes often don’t stay white for long. The ground we walk on is covered in dirt, grime, and oil. Because it’s so easy for white shoes to get dingy, they need regular cleaning.
When those white shoes are Crocs, this can be a little trickier. The classic foam that is a part of many Crocs doesn’t always respond to cleaning the way that other plastics do, which is why it is important to know how to clean white Crocs.
If you’ve decided your white Crocs just need to be freshened up, you have several options for basic cleaning. Depending on the type of Crocs you have, they can be thrown in the washing machine, hand-washed, or spot cleaned.
Fortunately, there are several options to try when cleaning white Crocs that have gotten stained or become dingy or yellow.
According to Crocs, classic-style crocs are machine washable. The company advises running them on a gentle cycle on cold, then letting them air dry. Put your Crocs in a mesh laundry bag while you run them through the machine to keep them extra safe. This Zipper Mesh Laundry Bag is the perfect size for Crocs and will keep them protected while also allowing them to get clean.
Hand washing is the method that Crocs recommends for the classic Crocs and fuzzy Crocs. Fill a basin or sink with water and add in a mild detergent, such as dish soap. Use a sponge or scrub brush to remove stubborn dirt and grime. Wash classic foam crocs in cool water and fuzzy Crocs in warm water. Avoid hot water for foam Crocs. High heat will damage them and can cause them to warp.
Another option when hand-washing classic Crocs is Dawn Powerwash. The internet has found all sorts of uses for this stuff, including on Crocs. You can try the spray and wipe method or clean like you would with regular soap and water.
If you’re cleaning Crocs that are leather, suede, wool, canvas, or have a wedge or a heel, these cannot be submerged. Instead, they must be spot cleaned.
Clean standard leather crocs with a damp cloth. After they air dry, finish with a leather cream and a protectant. Skidmore’s Original Leather Cream is both in one. The non-toxic formula restores and cleans your leather and creates a waterproof barrier for protection.
You can also clean Smooth Napa leather Crocs with a damp rag, but after they air dry, apply shoe wax instead of a leather cream. The Saphir Medaille d’Or Mirror Gloss is available in a variety of colors, including neutral for your white Crocs, and will provide a beautiful glossy finish.
For cleaning patent leather Crocs, you can use a damp cloth or a cleaner made specifically for patent leather. The Collonil Lack Polish for Patent Leather comes in neutral for your white Crocs, cleans and conditions the patent leather, and is easy to apply.
Do not use harsh chemicals like alcohol on leather Crocs, or they may lose their shine.
Suede and Wool
When cleaning Crocs made of suede or wool, don’t use water or detergent. Instead, stick with a wire or plastic brush for the top, and follow with a waterproof spray. The Wilkins Suede Shoe Cleaner Brush has both a rubber eraser and bristles. Made specifically for suede and Nubuck, use the eraser on any dry stains and the brush for overall maintenance.
Canvas shoes are much simpler to clean. Use a mild detergent and a damp cloth to spot clean stains.
Wedges and Heels
Clean wedges and heels with water. Using a solvent of any kind could degrade the glue, causing the sole to detach.
Cleaning Tough Stains on White Crocs
When you’ve tried the above options and your Crocs are still dirty, it’s time to step it up a notch. Here’s how to clean white Crocs when you are faced with the most stubborn of stains.
When you’ve got tough cleaning jobs, Magic Erasers really do feel like magic. But want to know a secret? Magic Erasers are just melamine sponges with a cleaner in them. Melamine sponges work well for cleaning because they are abrasive, even though they don’t look like they are.
If you’ve got particularly difficult stains on your white foam Crocs, use a Magic Eraser or melamine sponge with a bit of detergent. In general, melamine sponges work great on shoes, but be careful not to scrub too hard. Because Magic Erasers and melamine sponges are deceptively abrasive, do your hands a favor and wear gloves.
For Crocs that are canvas, you can use a stain remover on tough spots. Treat the stain, then use a white cloth or cheesecloth to scrub it out. Be sure to avoid colored clothes, as this could end up further staining your white canvas.
For more stubborn stains, let the cleaner sit on the shoes for a bit. Once the cleaner has a chance to penetrate the stain, use a damp white cloth to scrub the cleaner in.
For a spray-on stain remover, there are ones like Oxiclean Max Force that you can use on all kinds of stains, including grass, grease, and oil. A gel-based option, if you aren’t a fan of sprays, is the Shout Advanced Stain Remover. This product comes with its own brush to help target tough stains.
When you have tough stains that just won’t go away, it’s time to pull out the bleach. However, be very careful. Always wear gloves and use bleach in an open area. Bleach is highly corrosive and can easily irritate your skin, eyes, and lungs.
To spot clean your white Crocs with bleach, first, dilute the bleach. Dip a cloth, cotton swab, or toothbrush into the mixture, then apply it to your Crocs. You can also add the diluted bleach to a spray bottle and spray it on the stain, then rub it in with a cloth. Rinse your shoes with water and let them air dry.
Clorox is one of the top bleach brands. Their HE Performance Bleach kills up to 99.9% of household germs and bacteria, has an easy-to-carry handle, and has a handy chart on the back letting you know what ratios to use for certain jobs.
Of course, there’s always the option to buy a shoe cleaning solution. Shoe cleaners are specifically formulated to work on shoes and the types of stains shoes usually get.
The Pink Miracle Shoe Cleaner Kit is made for a variety of fabrics and is specially formulated for white shoes. Just check the before and after photos in the reviews! The kit comes with a concentrated cleaning solution and a shoe scrubbing brush.
One super-convenient option is these CleanKicks shoe cleaner wipes. Not only are they excellent at cleaning most types of materials, but they can also be stashed in your car for a quick clean up if need be.
Whitening White Crocs
Many different types of plastics will yellow over time. Yellowing happens when the polymers inside the plastic break down. Most often, this is caused by exposure to UV light but can also be caused by heat and humidity.
For Crocs that aren’t foam, sometimes the fabric just gets dingy. Even if you’re only wearing them around the house, they’re still picking up dust and dirt and sweat.
You may already be aware of the bleaching powers of lemon juice. Many people use it to lighten their hair or fix a bad self-tan. Lemon juice is also a great cleaning agent. Add lemon juice to a tub of water and let your foam or canvas Crocs soak.
If you’re washing foam Crocs, wipe them down with a cloth or towel, and then let them finish air drying. If you’re washing canvas Crocs, try to squeeze out as much water as you can before letting them air dry. Air drying your Crocs in the sun will whiten them further. However, as mentioned earlier, UV rays can cause yellowing, so don’t leave your classic foam Crocs in the sun.
Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is another good cleaning tool and is even used as the base for some bleaches. To whiten your canvas or classic Crocs, mix together a paste of one tablespoon baking soda, a half of a teaspoon of water, and a half of a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide. Using a toothbrush, gently apply the paste all over the areas that need cleaning. Once this coast is slightly dry, add a second.
Let the paste dry on the Crocs. For canvas Crocs, setting them in the sun will dry them faster and turn them whiter. Once the paste has dried, brush it off and rinse the shoes if necessary.
For many of us, if we think “whitening,” we think bleach. The way bleach works is fascinating. As bleach oxidizes, it releases oxygen molecules that break the bonds of things it’s applied to, like fabric. When the oxygen gets into these bonds, the composition of the fabric no longer reflects light that we can see.
To use bleach as a whitening agent for your Crocs, dilute your bleach in water as mentioned above and let your canvas Crocs soak before rinsing them and letting them air dry.
This method does work on foam Crocs, too, as long as you properly dilute the bleach and don’t overexpose the Crocs. Bleach is another agent that can break down polymers in plastic, causing that yellowing.
As mentioned before, ensure you have proper ventilation and are wearing gloves when working with bleach products.
Deodorizing White Crocs
Sometimes shoes start to smell bad. This happens when our feet sweat, and that sweat mixes with bacteria. How much your feet sweat will depend on you personally and also the material of your shoes. Foam Crocs have the bonus of holes that allow your feet to breathe, but even so, they can start to smell.
The simplest, least expensive way to deodorize your Crocs is by using baking soda. Baking soda is renowned for its odor-neutralizing abilities. The fantastic thing about baking soda is that it can be used on any shoe type. It’s not a solvent and it’s not corrosive, so no matter if your shoes are leather or fur or foam, baking soda will be safe.
Sprinkle baking soda inside your shoes and let them sit overnight. In the morning, shake out the baking soda. To ensure you get it all, you can vacuum or wipe it out, depending on the material of the insoles.
If you still need help deodorizing your Crocs, there are countless shoe deodorizers on the market. There are charcoal bags, sprays, powders, and deodorizing pods you can use to reduce the scent in your shoes. Whatever you go with, check the package first to ensure that the product is safe for the type of Crocs you have.
Like baking soda, activated charcoal absorbs odors. These Marsheepy Shoe Deodorizer Bags are perfect for slipping into your shoes. They not only absorb odors but moisture as well and can be reused.
The FunkAway Odor Eliminator Spray has rave reviews and works on a variety of surface types, including plastic. The non-toxic formula eliminates odors and is easy to apply.
For those who don’t like sprays or prefer a more natural-based product, there’s the Foot Sense Natural Foot and Shoe Odor Eliminator. The talc-free powder is made with lemon powder, cinnamon powder, and lavender essential oils and is safe for skin. In fact, if you deal with frequently sweaty feet, this powder can be used on your feet as well as inside your shoes.
The Air Jungles Odor Deodorizer Balls are a nifty option as well. They’re reusable and can be open and shut, so you can use them when you want. Each lasts up to a month. There are multiple scents to choose from, and each pack comes with six little deodorizing balls.
Weatherproofing White Crocs
Hopefully, you aren’t in the habit of wearing your fur Crocs in the rain or your classic foam Crocs through the snow. But if you have canvas, suede, or wool Crocs, you should weatherproof them. This not only keeps them from getting wet but can also help prevent stains from dirt and road salt in the winter.
If you’re trying to keep your suede or leather Crocs from weather damage, the Nikwax Nubuck & Suede Waterproofing Spray and Nikwax Fabric and Leather Waterproofing Spray both have great reviews. They will keep your suede and leather safe from water and weather while also enhancing the texture.
Rust-oleum’s Clear Shoe and Boot Spray will work for Crocs made of suede, wool, and canvas. The formula goes on clear and won’t ruin the white of your Crocs. This crystal and silicone-free formula will repel water and oils, keeping your white shoes looking white.
With all that being said, you now know how to clean white Crocs using the best methods to do so!
How to Clean White Crocs, Closing Thoughts
When your white Crocs aren’t looking so white anymore, there are a multitude of options you can try. The type of method you use will depend on how dirty or discolored the Crocs are, the material your Crocs are made out of, and the type of product you want to use. Whether you go with basic soap and water or a full cleaning kit, odds are there’s something out there that will get your white Crocs looking like new again.